NAM comments

Posted in: How to nurture creativity in your kids See in context

One of my favorite things to do with kids is art projects! Drawing together, coloring together, making paper crafts together, etc. If parents can take the time out of busy schedules to just clear the kitchen table, pull out some crayons and pencils, kids start to see it as a valuable activity too. Of course, resist the urge to instruct them in the "right way" lol

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan adopts plan to push clean energy, nuclear to cut carbon emissions See in context

Building and using nuclear power plants in a country with so many natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, landslides, etc) is just stupid at this point. Nuclear power might be a good option for a more stable country, but it's just not a good fix for the energy needs of Japan. It's too dangerous, and there are too many people at the top of corporations willing and able to money and profits before safety. It's just a gamble of when the next problem/disaster will be, not if.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Teacher arrested over sexual assault in classroom See in context

People seem to be confused about the age of the girls. This is my best guess:

In Japanese, they don't really have an official word for teenager, although many people use and understand the katakana version of it. In the original article, they most likely used "10年代" or something similar, which means someone from age 10-19. So if that was the case, the girls clearly could have been about fifth grade, which would make them 11ish. Old enough to be in elementary school, get lured by the promise of a sticker or stamp, and still have breasts. Of course I don't have the original article here in Japanese, but that's what for me seems most logical-just a not perfect translation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: The 'zombification' of married life See in context

This article is kind of all over the place. The first couple seems like they might be OK except for financial hardships. The second couple sound like they're basically roommates to each other now. Those seem to be very different problems to me. So, why are they grouped together as reasons why people don't divorce? I mean, why not add more reasons like a sick partner, a shared business, etc. There are as many reasons out there to not get divorced as there are reasons out there to marry. This article fails to draw any parallels between the couples they give as examples, or support their "zombification" claim with any data or research. I assume they thought the term sounded cool, it kind of tied in with Halloween, and so they hit publish. I feel stupider for having read this lol.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Squid Game': South Korea's latest cultural phenomenon See in context

I find it really interesting too that Korean series and movies are so strong and moving, yet Japanese ones are so weak comparatively. Japanese anime is much more of a powerhouse.

If you compare the Japanese and Korean ministries associated with entertainment, you will see a big difference there. The Korean entertainment ministry has been mostly headed by arts-related people (writers, poets, etc.) and few career politicians. The Japanese heads have been all career politicians or businessmen as far as I can tell. So, you get a real sense about what who can understand what moves people's hearts. The Korean ministries of entertainment clearly support arts that might not paint Korea in the best light, but are moving and profitable. The Japanese ministry heads seem to be focused only on what can be profitable. So, it's very easy to market anime or Pokemon compared to more complicated stories like Nobody Knows or Battle Royale.

I hope in the future Japanese cinema will improve, but it seems unlikely.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Posted in: Japan has lowest share of women studying science: OECD report See in context

Well said @letsberealistic! I agree fully.

From my own personal experience, I also find this to be true when talking with female students about what they want to do in the future. Many Japanese young ladies talk about being kindergarten teachers, office workers, opening bakeries or cafes, and other less science/math oriented work. I'm not saying these jobs are bad of course, but the number of ladies interested in that work is clearly disproportionate to what it should be. I think, and this is just my opinion, that these jobs appeal to them because they are not "threatening" to men, and are easy to quit when you get married. Many women here still have the traditional ideal that men work and women stay home and take care of the house and kids. They don't consider how vulnerable that makes them to the whims of their partner or in case of his death or abandonment. Being financially independent from your partner is just crucial to women's lives, and I wish more women here will get into science and math work. It's hard, but so well paid and secure. It seems a lot of eastern European women have figured that out.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: The next fashion trend is clothes that don't exist See in context

This is such a rich, first world thing. People who have actual problems would never waste their money or time or something like this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: YouTube removes R Kelly official channels after conviction See in context

I think people are missing the distinction. If R Kelly himself/his people run his YouTube channel, then he/ they receive payments from advertisement revenue and view counts. So, in that way YouTube would be financially supporting him. In order to not financially support a convicted criminal, they are removing his official channels.

However, fans are still free to use his music, post his videos, upload his albums or concerts, etc so it will be available if you want to listen to his work still, despite his crimes.

It's not about big tech becoming a nanny, it's about them making the choice to not financially support him anymore. Which is completely in their right to do. I'm sure there are many companies that advertise on YouTube that don't want their brands associated with him anymore too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Transgender man in Japan wants switch recognized without surgery See in context

It doesn't really matter what you personally believe about transgender people, but the government forcing people to be sterilized or get surgery is wrong. There is no other group forced to do so.

If they can force once group to get unwanted medical surgeries, what's to stop them from forcing another group? People should have the right to bodily autonomy.

As usual, the comments sections under transgender articles turns into a swamp of judgment, rather than talking about the actual issue brought up in the article. Are these laws constitutional?

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Posted in: Organizers unveil COVID-19 rules for Beijing Winter Olympics See in context

I'm glad they have some strict protocols for reducing COVID infections, but it is still stupid and risky to have massive sporting events before the world is vaccinated.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to fully lift state of emergency measures this week See in context

Yay! I hope these endless SoE extensions will finally end and things will start to be open as usual again. I'm really looking forward to little things, like seeing a movie in a theater, not calling restaurants before I go to see if they're open/what time last order is, getting regular haircuts, and in general being a little more at ease taking the trains and going out shopping. Of course, everyone please keep careful by wearing the masks and disinfecting hands, but I'm looking forward to a little less stress.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: 5 trails in Japan I can’t wait to hike again when it’s safe to travel See in context

Yakushima is a little tricky to get to, but absolutely gorgeous hiking. I was lucky enough to spend 5 days getting there, hiking, and coming home. It was totally worth it! Not only do you see ancient trees and amazing vistas, there are also lots of deer, frogs, monkeys, and other wildlife that are so not used to people that they don't dash off at all! They just go about their business while you take amazing photos or smile at the way deer chew.

This was pre-pandemic of course, I doubt they're really open for tourists right now and besides their hiking season should be wrapping up soon anyways. Summer is a great time to go down there, when you get to the top of the peaks it will be cold but not so bad that you need heavy duty gear, which keeps your pack light for hiking. After 3 days in the mountains, we spent a night by the beach and saw sea turtles hatching and going to the ocean. It was a nature lovers' paradise. I really can't recommend it enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman arrested after body of newborn boy flushed down toilet See in context

That poor maintenance worker!!!

That lady was probably panicking to be honest, if I was in the toilet when my baby came and I didn't have my phone, I'd probably be freaking out too. Not saying what she did was right or ok in any way, but it sounds less like a planned, premeditated situation than something that happened spontaneously. Hopefully she won't be charged with anything like murder, again not saying what she did was right, but it really didn't sound thought out at all. Who knows what kind of language abilities or support she has in Japan, if she even registered the pregnancy at the ward office, etc. Really crazy situation. I agree with @savethegaijin, well said.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: 17-year-old boy will not be prosecuted over 6-year-old sister’s death See in context

What a mess! The poor girl, may she rest in peace now.

As for the boy, I'm pretty sure when I was 17 I knew not to kick a 6 year old in the stomach. Jeez, everyone failed in this situation! The Japanese welfare department had no business deciding a 17 year old could take care of a kid, the divorce system that doesn't require fathers to pay child support, the mom for being absent-not said here in the article but probably she was working and trying to get money to take care of everyone,---everyone here should be held accountable! This country does so much hand-wringing about their declining birth rate, then does very little to actually support anyone- especially those outside of the traditional 2-parent family household. Despicable.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Posted in: Fashion icon Naomi Watanabe has a reassuring anecdote for Japanese people in the U.S. See in context

Well of course they're going to say nice things, they literally work for her! She's paying them to provide a service, so naturally they're going to say nice things partly cos they want a tip, and partly because they need a good review and want to work more in the future. Rich people live in little isolated bubbles, and think this is how the real world works for the rest of us. She needs to take the subway, hang out in a park, and be around people that aren't serving her. Then she will hear some real comments.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to allow wider preimplantation genetic testing of eggs in IVF See in context

This is definitely an ethical grey area, but as @chabbawanga said, these are couples that have struggled with infertility already, usually for years. The expense, not to mention the emotional and physical toll, is already immense. If that couple feels they can't handle more difficulties, I don't think as a society it is fair to tell them they must take it on, if there is a way that they don't have to. For example, if they get 5 eggs after treatment, and 3 are unhealthy but 2 are fine, it just doesn't seem fair to them to make them choose the unhealthy eggs. Not to mention, after an unhealthy egg is fertilized, the rate of implantation and development into a fetus is lower and miscarriage is higher. So if it doesn't develop into a fetus, that would be forcing the couple to undergo implantation again, again at great financial, emotional, and physical cost.

Of course if we are talking about embryos or fetuses already developed, then it is harder to justify. But, at least at the egg and sperm level during IVF, I feel the couple should have more say in it, considering their already large burdens. I mean, we aren't talking about meaningless genetic screening here, like sex or eye color, predispositions to leukemia, cerebal palsy, spina bifida, etc can cause death. It's a very sad and difficult issue though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sapporo enters the ready-to-drink hard seltzer market with Water Sour See in context

What a bad name for a product! That was a big mistake on their part. A better name would be Hard Seltzer or Sour Seltzer or something.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: University students attending virtual classes struggle with isolation See in context

I feel sad for this kid, but university students aren't the same as high school students. They have part-time jobs, club activities, live with family members, and generally speaking for large universities in Japan-are much more crowded and almost impossible to control and socially distance compared to HS. Not to mention half of them are old enough to go out drinking. It's a very different situation, which is why it needs to be treated differently.

As for her classes, I agree with @ExtraPat that her teachers must really be phoning it in if all her classes are just lecture style Zoom, and there's no one with their cameras on or breakout rooms. In my online classes, I require everyone to have their cameras on and mute off or they lose points for attendance. Not to mention I go around to each breakout room, talk to students, and check that they're on task. It's a huge pain in the ass, from a teaching standpoint, but I've also heard in feedback from students that this is their only time they meet other students and they enjoy the classes. My classes and the other English teachers in my department doing this style have also had higher ratings than the other classes.

Anyways, I know this is not feasible for a 300+ student class, but at least having some event once a month on campus, socially-distanced with masks, would be safe for students and help them a little with the isolation. This particular girl sounds like she's depressed, and there should also be counseling available for the students. But, until vaccination is more widely spread, I can't imagine universities opening up soon. It's just ripe for a major outbreak.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman with COVID-19 loses baby after being forced to give birth prematurely at home See in context

This is exactly why pregnant people should have been on the medical priority list for vaccines. If she was vaccinated back in May, maybe she wouldn't have been infected. Of course, the vaccines aren't a guarantee, especially considering how bad Delta is, but it would reduce her chances a lot! And, then maybe she would have had 1 medical emergency instead of 2. And for a country that does a lot of hand-wringing about their birth rate, I really can't understand why pregnant people weren't included on the medical priority list. This illogical, lack of foresight thinking is just inexcusable and should be criminal at this point. COVID has been around for a while, they should be more prepared by now.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to give public employees paid leave for fertility treatment See in context

As usual, comments are focused on the birth rate, and not the actual problem mentioned in the article, which is that 73%of people undergoing fertility treatments find it difficult or impossible to schedule their treatments considering their work schedules and policies.

Nowhere in the article did it claim to be a cure for the falling birth rate, it's just addressing a specific problem. In the same way that safety belts, air bags, drunk driving fines and laws, better lighting on roads, stop signs etc have all contributed to making driving less dangerous. None of these one things cure the whole overall problem, but they all help address a specific problem.

Paid leave helps infertile couples get their treatments a little easier, and having gone through this process in Japan firsthand, I can tell you it is so difficult on so many levels. Anything done to ease it should be applauded!

Of course, lots need to be done besides this, such as paying younger people a higher salary so they can start saving and planning for kids sooner, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to give public employees paid leave for fertility treatment See in context

This is a great first step! When I was doing IVF in Kyoto, it was very complicated to get the check ups, medicines, consultations, egg extraction, and implantation done around my work schedule. I used to finish class and rush over to the hospital, or spend my Saturday mornings there. At least I had a very flexible job, but I can't imagine how hard it would be for those with strict bosses. Not to mention the price and the psychological ups and downs, which also make it hard. I could really see some women having to make a choice between their careers and having a family unfortunately.

I think this is a good first step in the right direction, but more should be done to support women going through this.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: AI beefs up veggie burgers as market booms See in context

I really prefer falafel and black bean burgers. I never saw the point of trying to make plants taste like meat, but I understand some people are really into it. I wish Japan had more variety of just bean-based or mushroom-based food, rather than all this over processed fake meat stuff. To each their own I suppose

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Mister Donut becomes Mister Pizza? Japan’s favorite donut chain now sells pizza too See in context

That dough to sauce/toppings ratio is not good for me at all. I like my pizza heavy with stuff on it. I will pass, and save my money for a decent pizza.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: Women hold only 5.9% of director-level jobs in Japanese gov't See in context

If Japanese companies actually want to welcome and include more women, they will need to change many things about their corporate culture. It would mean actively recruiting and headhunting women, offering female students internships, creating mentorship programs, making pregnancy harrassment or demotion have major consequences, being more flexible in terms of work hours, increasing the number of paid sick days for childcare, among other things they can do.

They simply do not care or do not want women as their equals enough to make some real changes. Actions speak louder than words, and in this case, their inaction is deafening.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Social isolation spreading in Japan See in context

I think the lack of social skills and friends in Japan starts pretty young. They are very over-scheduled at school, between their regular classes and homework, club activities, and cram school. They have very little time to just relax and be kids in a park playing together. Also, schools don't organize many social events like dances or parties. Their cultural festivals and summer festivals are great for kids to relax and enjoy, and when you talk to adults, some of their fondest memories are these special events. I assume because it's relaxed and not regimented like their everyday lives are.

Once they are out of their regimes, they have trouble making friends, striking up conversations naturally, being vulnerable with their boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. I think the change really needs to start young.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Swim caps for thick, curly hair not allowed at Olympics See in context

This was a stupid mistake from the IOC. These swim caps don't give the swimmers an unfair advantage, so I really don't get why they wouldn't be allowed. If anyone who wants to can wear them, then it should be fine.

I think the IOC is only looking at what the current rules say, and not what the swimmers need or want. It seems a pretty simple thing to change or allow.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Breastfeeding Olympians allowed to bring babies to Tokyo See in context

All these special exceptions for the Olympics, while the people living and working in Japan can still not get dependency visas for their husbands or children. It's just heartbreaking what we have been put through since December. When will they allow dependency visas again!?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: How to live without too much effort See in context

This article might as well be titled, how to have a boring, unambitious life without ever challenging yourself or growing as a person. The author is totally disregarding the middle-ground approach, which is put effort into things that matter to you. You don't need to sell your soul to a company, and as many commenters have rightly pointed out, in 100 years no one will remember you and nothing you do will matter to the company. So, that's why you should figure out what is important to you (making art, raising a family, seeing nature, etc.) and put your efforts into the people and activities that you love. People who put 1% effort into raising their kids are the worst. Also, by challenging yourself, you learn and grow as a person and become more satisfied with what you have done with your life.

There's a middle, where you aren't stressed out every day and never sleep but you also aren't lazy and boring.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: What are some movies whose bad science made them almost unwatchable for you? See in context

Lucy, with Scarlett Johansson. The whole premise is based on the idea that we only use 10%of our brains, which has been proven false time and time again. Such a stupid concept just ruined the whole movie for me, I couldn't get into it at all, even though some of the fight scenes were good.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese Olympic Committee names first transgender member See in context

They really need to change the whole forced sterilization of transgender people law. It's just cruel and inhumane. I can't think of that being a stipulation for any other medical procedure. It's not even a punishment for rapists or murderers!

Especially considering Japan is always focused on their population and birth rate decline, you'd think this would be one of the first or easiest laws to fix.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

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